The Cold War (Unit #2)

Drawing on new historical scholarship about the global context of the Cold War, students consider, Why and how was the Cold War fought?

Unit Introduction (US Strand);                                                   Unit Introduction (World Strand);
Origins of the Cold War (CWW/A1): 
  • Early Tensions - The Truman Doctrine
  • The Marshall Plan & Divided Germany; Yalta & Potsdam
  • The Iron Curtain and Containment
  • Why Did We Fight?
Decolonization (CWW2):
  • Decolonization and Nationalism
  • Third Way and Non-Alignment
  • Suez Canal Crisis
  • Cuban Missile Crisis
Principles vs Practices (CWW3):
  • Racism in the First World
  • Prague Spring 1968
  • China: Chairman Mao's Challenge
  • Chile 1973
Hot Spots Research Project (CWW4):
  • Research project in which students will produce a newspaper about a hotspot in the Cold War:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Cambodia, Congo, Guatemala, Hungary, Iran, Nicaragua

Containment Abroad (CWA2):
  • Founding of the United Nations
  • Creation of NATO and the Warsaw Pact
  • National Security Act, NSC-68, Iran Coup d'etat
  • Korean War, Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Hungarian Revolution, Guatemalan Coup d'etat
Containment at Home (CWA3):
  • Domestic Containment
  • HUAC and The Rosenbergs
  • Civil Defense, Nuclear Power, The Kitchen Debate
  • Civil Rights and the Integration of the Armed Forces
Vietnam (CWA4):
  • Origins of the Vietnam War, Tonkin Gulf & Escalation
  • A War of Attrition, The War's Legacies
  • The Anti-War Movement
  • End of the War
End of the Cold War (CWW/A5): 
  • The End of Detente
  • Problems with the USSR
  • Diplomacy and Reform: Gorbachev and Reagan
  • China's Solution and the Fall of the Soviet Union

Click here for a detailed unit index (Cold War America).

Click here for a detailed unit index (Cold War World).


 All History Blueprint materials are Copyrighted by the Regents of the University of California, Davis Campus.  These materials, however, are designed for K12 educational purposes, and as such, teachers have the right to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format.  This use is predicated on the assumption that educators will give appropriate credit, provide a link to our site (, and indicate if any changes were made.  Educators may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the University or the California or the California History-Social Science Project endorses said teacher, school, or related organization.  Finally, educators or any members of the public may not apply any legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from accessing the materials or doing anything that this agreement permits.